Choosing a graduate programme

Which is the right graduate programme for me? Have you asked yourself this question? Below you will find five tips to making the right choice.

1) Choose from what you know – not what you think you know

Each year students choose the wrong programme and some drop out because it does not live up to their expectations. The programme title never tells the whole story; instead get acquainted with the actual content of the programmes:

  • Read the course descriptions for ALL the courses. This makes it easier to compare the different programmes, and to choose the one that appeals to you the most.
  • Investigate: Talk to students enrolled on the program, but remember what is right for them is not necessarily right for you.
  • Feel free to use the Open Day event or the Student Guidance Service.
  • Never choose an education solely because of its popularity, cool title or because it just ”sounds nice”.

2) Be structured in your selection process – it give you time to make the right choice

Do you find it difficult to fully understand the consequences of your choice? Get a better overview by writing down your thoughts.

  • Write down your wishes for your continued education. Be concrete about the academic content, and the competences you wish to obtain. Remember to include study environment, flexibility, employability, exam and teaching forms etc.
  • Prioritize your wishes.
  • Make a pros and cons list for each of the programmes you are considering, and compare them with your priorities.
  • Do not postpone the decision until the last minute!

3) Don´t make a half choice – think of your complete profile

When you choose a graduate programme, you are actually only choosing the courses you will have on the first year. The electives and the thesis is an equally large part of the programme. Here you can tailor the programme in the direction way you want.

  • Elaborate on what profile you want to create for yourself.
  • Think about how you are going to create your profile during the graduate programme. Do you want to use the second year to specialize, or do you want to create a broader profile by adding or combining multiple academic fields?
  • Examine the options for individual adjustments offered by the programme e.g. which electives have previously been offered and accepted by the programme.

4) Plan B or C becomes a reality for many people – Choose your priorities wisely

Your education is only a means to reach your goal, not the goal in itself. There can be a variety of ways to reach the same goal, or maybe you can set several possible goals. Consider working with multiple alternatives that can lead you in the direction you want to go.

  • Remember that all your priorities can become your future programme.
  • Spend time on making a realistic plan A, B and C, and think it through. In that way you will be ready to start on all the programmes you prioritise.
  • Write the results down and try to combine the different programmes with different electives and specialisations.
  • Only prioritize programmes you wish to be enrolled in.

5) Choosing a graduate programme – choosing a career

Your choice of graduate programme is the beginning of your choice of career. Therefore it is important that you choose something you can imagine spending time on for ”the rest of your life”. On the other hand, you should not think that your career path is locked in one direction, just because you have made certain choices. Your education is only part of your qualifications for future employment, and a professional life is long and can (luckily) go on to develop in many different directions.

  • Find your dream job. Examine the market by reading job advertisements. What jobs are you interested in, and what is it that attracts you to these jobs above others? 
  • What qualifications and academic knowledge is required in these jobs? Remember to also consider qualifications, tools or understandings that are required on a daily, practical level.
  • Find out which programmes can give you the qualifications you do not have.
  • Take into consideration that you might need to take some courses in areas that may not be the most amusing for you, but which will give you valuable competences with regards to landing your dream job.
The page was last edited by: Web editor - Student Communications // 05/31/2024